President Macron.

French president Emmanuel Macron visited Karlberg castle on January 30, 2024. Photo: Anders G Warne.

The President of France visited the Swedish Defence University

Talks on European security policy were on the agenda when President Emmanuel Macron visited the Swedish Defence University and Karlberg castle, where he spoke to cadets, students at the Higer Officers programme and specially invited guests.

European cooperation and self-determination, not least on the issue of support for Ukraine, were in focus when President Emmanuel Macron visited Sweden on 30 January at the invitation of His Majesty the King. Karlberg Palace provided a bright and beautiful setting for the visit, despite the fact that the evening offered both rain and bad weather. The Vice-Chancellor of the Swedish Defence University, Robert Egnell, welcomed the participants.

"I am extremely proud to welcome you here to the Swedish Defence University and Karlberg castle, where we have trained officers since 1792. A visit of this magnitude does not happen every day, but it is also extraordinary times we live in."

The Future of European Security, recording from the 30th of January 2024

Coherent support to Ukraine

On the same theme, The King spoke about how we are living in a problematic time with great suffering for the Ukrainian people.

"The Ukrainian people should know that we admire their courage," said King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Kungen på Karlbergs slott.

King Carl XVI Gustaf spoke to cadets, students at the Higher Officers Programme and other guests at Karlberg Castle. Photo: Anders G Warne.

He spoke about how the European people are now acting together and that Sweden, while waiting to become a full member of NATO, has received security guarantees from France "for which we are very grateful".

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also spoke about the importance of supporting Ukraine and our fundamental and common values of freedom, equality and fraternity.

Statsminister Ulf Kristersson talar på Karlbergs slott.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson speaking to the audience at Karlbergs castle. Photo: Anders G Warne.

Stimulating deepening cooperation

The purpose of the state visit was to strengthen and promote relations between the two countries and to stimulate closer cooperation in areas such as innovation and the green transition, as well as defence and security in the region.

President Emmanuel Macron was clear when he spoke that we in Europe must be ready to take national and European decisions, regardless of the decisions of the United States.

"We Europeans must shape our future and support European solutions."

Robert Egnell och president Macron.

Vice-chancellor Robert Egnell and president Emmanuel Macron . Photo: Anders G Warne.

Questions from cadets and officers

President Macron rounded off with a short Q&A session, moderated by vice-chancellor Robert Egnell, and had time for a few questions from both cadets and students at the Senior Officers Programme. He reaffirmed the view that France, as the only nuclear power in Europe, has a special responsibility and also the importance of cooperation between France and the countries around the Baltic Sea in view of the Baltic states' particularly vulnerable position.

Commander in Chief Micael Bydén salutes the castle guard on the castle steps of Karlberg Castle.

Commander in Chief Micael Bydén salutes the castle guard on the steps of Karlberg Castle. Photo: Anders G Warne.

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